Turtle Rescue of Long Island

June 28, 2008

Winter/Spring June 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — Julie @ 3:57 pm

As usual I have good intentions of keeping up with the blog but never seem to get around to it. So now I’ll try to joggle my memory to see if I can remember some of what has gone on here since the fall when I last posted.

As stated in the blog last entry, the RES are still a big problem with placing. I have had offers from several people out of state to release them in ponds where they are native so this is an option, but some people just don’t like that option. So for those I just keep a waiting list and place as I can in the few homes we do get for sliders.

Back in January I had a Redfoot tortoise come in here for placement. I swear this had to be the driest tortoise I have ever seen in my life. I named him Dusty because the dust was so thick on him it took literally weeks of soaking and brushing to get the dust off that poor guys shell. It was actually imbedded it was so bad. Kept in a tank with a heat mat AND a 160 watt uv/heat lamp. That poor tort was cooking in there. Amazing what they endure and still survive. He didn’t know what to do with a good meal when he got here but after weaning him off those awful colorful tortoise pellets I’m happy to say he left here eating nutritious greens, fruits, bugs, worms and shrimp like a Redfoot should and is now residing in a great home with a great tort keeper.

I had a few Sulcata residents for the winter. It’s always fun cleaning up poop like that of a horse (NOT). And having that hay makes the basement smell like a barn to go with that poop, so some may walk in and think we’re living in a barn, although it is in our basement. But fortunately the bigger of the Sulcata got a ride down to Florida In February so that only left a smaller twenty pounder and a another smaller one.

I got in a cute little Russian tortoise from one of the local nature centers in November, which was found at a beach here on Long Island. His tail was totally mutilated from the cloaca to the tip. The vet could not do anything for it because there was nothing to work with. So I took him home and did the best I could with keeping the wound clean and keeping him as comfy as I could. The little guy survived. My grandson named him Booboo tail, and he has been called Booboo since. He was supposed to go to an adopter upstate NY. They had built a great tort table for him, got all his supplies, bought the RT seed mix from www.carolinapetsupply.com and got it growing. All was set and the family was going to get the tortoise at the reptile expo in April. Then a tragedy. Fire ripped through their home while they weren’t home destroying everything, so Booboo could no longer be adopted by them. I felt awful for the family, but glad nobody got hurt. I adopted Booboo to another family but after about a month or so he was back with us because he wasn’t eating well and wasn’t acting like his normal self. So Booboo is still with me. Now living with my group of tortoises. He’s just the cutest little thing and really thrives here so I’m really hoping that the original family will one day be able to adopt him again.

Then in February came another Sulcata. One that could break your heart just looking at him he was in such awful shape. Remember Toby? This one is worse. There’s a short video clip of this one here: http://www.turtlerescues.org/gallery2/main.php?g2_itemId=4903
One of the worst cases of poor diet, poor habitat , lack of uvb, lack of humidity just lack of good care. The owner had brought him to a vet where they began treating him for MBD (metabolic bone disease) by giving injections of calcium and vitamin A. Luckily there were only four of these injections given before the owner got in touch with me and got the turtle out of there. The vet wanted to continue this for two weeks.Two weeks of vitamin A shots surely would have had this tortoises skin sloughing off his bones. His diet was spring mix and carrots according to the previous owner. If the vet had bothered to ask he would have known there was no vitamin A deficiency. After about a month of having the tortoise here and him not eating and having a terrible time trying to walk a lightbulb went off and I began to wonder if he could possibly have a blockage, rather than his not pooping being from not eating, and his difficulty of walking being from the MBD. If the vet had done an xray upon seeing this tortoise he would have seen the blockage that my vet saw when I brought him in. There is was, plain as day, intestinal blockage. All that time wasted with not trying to treat the blockage. I tried everything to get this tortoise to poop, and back to the vet two more times for xrays at three week intervals with not much progress. Four months later, finally, a little bit of poop has finally begun to leak out. Nothing like it should, but we are making progress and I am now a bit more hopeful that this amazing tortoise is on the mend and will survive. He is even now eating a bit of grass, on his own!

In February, Newsday featured a photo of one of the Leopard tortoises that had come through the rescue in their paper. I submitted the picture for the heck of it and was real surprised when they picked it. They ran a short bit about the rescue. It was nice.


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